Hollywood might be on the offensive when it comes to limiting your internet freedom (via the controversial and moribund Stop Online Privay Act), but it appeared to be against the ropes today following the U.S. Justice Department's takedown of file storage sight Megaupload at the behest of the content industries.
The FBI, DOJ, Universal Music Group, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) Motion Picture Association of America, music's BMI and Warner Music Group all saw their sites taken down, at least temporarily (a quick check showed, for example, that the MPAA was back online), by the “hacktivist” group Anonymous.
Here's what Anonymous “operative” Barrett Brown told rt.com:
It was in retaliation for Megaupload, as was the concurrent attack on Justice.org.
The entertainment industry's war on internet freedom via its relentless lobbying for SOPA propably didn't help either.
@AnonDaily member tweeted:
#StarveTheBeast Trend this. The entertainment industries will see that they can not simply censor us for the basis of profit.
SOPA would have likely outlawed a site like Megaupload and might have even limited links to it. Its New Zealand-based operators today were accused by feds of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement — basically allowing people upload Hollywood movies and music and share it without paying.
The site claims it's simply a legit place for people to park their content (like, oh, say Google's gmail?). A lawyer indicated the defendants would fight the case.
One thing the Megauplaod shutdown proves however, is that SOPA would not have been needed in the first place.
[Added]: Gawker reports on how the hackers got everyday non-geeks like you and I to participate in the take-down operation by simply and mostly innocently clicking a link. Impressive.